To a Bonny Birch Tree
–by George Campbell Hay (1914-1984)
A cloud drifting in the sky,
leafage between it and my eye;
fresh and green-crested are the tresses of the birch,
jewel of the steep descents about the Bight.
A gentle breeze from the knowe
wins music from your crest;
harp of the wind is your stringed top
as the tendrils of the boughs make melody.
Gem of the hollows down there,
a fairy mound for the birds is your close-set fastness;
you charming them out of every airt,
and they swooping down on you with cheer.
Sweet, sweet the chorusing,
carolling and singing on the hillock,
when the birds of summer alight
on your sprays with honey on their beaks.
Better than their music is to see yourself,
gently nodding below the scaur,
slim and fresh, with crest enlaced and plaited,
and beads of dew on every branch.